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ABC denies termination of Antoinette Lattouf

The ABC is looking to have Antoinette Lattouf’s unlawful termination case dismissed on the basis that the public broadcaster did not terminate her employment.

Lattouf’s lawyer Josh Bornstein was advised by the public broadcaster on 18 January that Lattouf was not entitled to make an unlawful termination application to the Fair Work Commission, as she had not been sacked.

“We have sought a detailed explanation from the ABC for its about face. If the ABC pursues this jurisdictional challenge, it is likely that evidence will need to be called from senior management,” said Bornstein.

Lattouf described the ABC’s claim as “a taxpayer funded legal game of recent invention.”

She said: “If I wasn’t sacked, what was it? I’m keen to hear all the creative euphemisms that will be used to try and explain this backflip to me, ABC staff as well as Australians who are very concerned about their public broadcaster. Was I unshackled? Liberated? Untied? Subjected to a workplace imbalance correction?

“The facts are, I was sacked, when the audience and my producers were expecting me to return.”

“The decision to sack me was also leaked to a rival media outlet almost immediately, sending a chilling warning shot to everyone else working at the ABC.”

In a statement shared with Mumbrella, an ABC spokesperson said:

“It was clear on the evidence provided in the ABC’s response to Ms Lattouf’s claim that she had not been terminated. The jurisdictional objection was formalised as soon as it became clear the matter had not resolved.”

Lattouf and Bornstein this month expanded the journalist’s Fair Work Complaint against the ABC, after she was dropped from a summer radio gig in December for resharing a Human Rights Watch post to her Instagram story.

The public broadcaster confirmed that Lattouf would not be returning for the final two days of the week-long gig, in a decision that was attributed to her post contradicting the ABC’s strict editorial guidelines.

Lattouf has since alleged that her sacking was motivated in part by her ethnicity, with her case intending to demonstrate that white journalists have not be sacked for expressing political opinions, even when working in news and current affairs.

Bornstein explained earlier this month: “The claim has now been amended to reflect that Antoinette Lattouf alleges that she was sacked by the ABC because she expressed a political opinion and also because of her race. Since October 7 and the ensuing conflict in the Middle East, it has become notorious in the media industry that Arab and Muslim journalists are being intimidated, censored and sacked.”

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